In the lead up to UN climate talks in Durban, the Chinese government issued its most comprehensive document to date on the country’s negotiating position, Xinhua said. The white paper set out three “expectations” for next week’s summit, covering the Kyoto Protocol, rich world emissions cuts and mechanisms for finance and technology transfer to developing nations.
China's environmental watchdog fined eight power plants for violating laws controlling sulphur-dioxide emissions and ordered them to correct their practices by the year end, China Daily reported. The power stations, some affiliated to energy giants including China Power Investment Corporation, were sanctioned for excessive discharge, deactivating monitoring equipment and fabricating emissions data, a government statement said.
The lawyer representing 30 fishermen suing ConocoPhillips for damages allegedly caused by an oil spill in Bohai Bay told AFP he had filed a lawsuit at Qingdao Maritime Court. Jia Fangyi of Beijing-based Great Wall Law Firm said he would seek US$4.7 million in compensation for harm caused by the slick, which started in June but was only revealed to the public more than a month later.
China’s State Council decided to establish an experimental zone for ecological protection at Sanjiangyuan on the Tibetan Plateau, Xinhua said. The initiative in the 4,000-metre high region, where the Yangtze, Lancang and Yellow River all originate, aims to boost green cover by 30% by 2020, according to a draft plan agreed at a meeting chaired by Wen Jiabao.
A Greenpeace report on deforestation in Hainan province said the south Chinese island has been losing rainforest at a rate of 27 football fields for the past 10 years due to illegal logging and plantations. The destruction threatens to wipe out the world’s rarest primate, the Hainan gibbon, of which only 23 are believed to remain in the wild, the campaign group said.
Central China’s Henan province announced plans to build breeding bases for endangered wildlife including snow leopards, rhesus monkeys and crested ibis over the next five years, according to Xinhua. Forestry officials said eleven more centres would be set up for other wild animals and plants during the same period.
Fish in China’s largest desert freshwater lake are on the verge of extinction as water levels decline and salt content rises, Xinhua quoted local fishery authorities as saying. Coal mining and reservoir-construction near Hongjiannao Lake in Shaanxi province have restricted the amount of water flowing into the lake from underground streams, said an official from a nearby monitoring station
East China’s Shandong province said it would begin monitoring and publishing information on toxic PM 2.5 pollution in its 17 cities from next year, Global Times reported. The programme, which plans to launch before tighter national standards come into force, will publish monthly air quality readings and use “blue sky, white clouds and shining stars” among its index labels, the local environmental protection department said.
Moves by the Ministry of Environmental Protection to devolve powers to the local level is a mistake, says Friends of Nature director Li Bo